Saturday, November 13, 2010

Healthy Cooking that's KID Friendly!

Eating clean with two picky eaters can often pose a challenge... I want my kids to eat healthy, but in order for me to do that effectively, I have to get creative...

The Sneaky Chef
http://www.thesneakychef.com/

I have always hidden foods in my kids every day meals - even things like boxed Macaroni and Cheese presents opportunities to add nutritional value and my kids can't tell the difference!  I used to puree all my own, but I recently started buying organic baby food and using that instead. 

A few years ago I discovered the book, "The Sneaky Chef" and that made it even easier for me to make my kids favorite foods and still give them as many fruits, vegetables, and other nutrients they need to be their best. 
Missy Chase Lapine, the author, makes use of all the most kid friendly foods and the recipes are delicious!  Blueberries and spinach in meatballs, brownies, and burgers, cauliflower in mac 'n cheese, and wheat germ in cookies.  My kids get lots of fiber, fruits, veggies, and flavor! 

I recently made chocolate chip cookies for some kids at the gym where I train.  One batch had sweet potatoes and wheat germ, and the other one had spinach and blueberries.  The kids (and adults) had no idea. 

In addition to Missy's book, I also sneak vegetable substitutes in for carbohydrates.  I make "mashed cauliflower" instead of mashed potatoes and spaghetti squash in stead of pasta.  My kids love it topped with marinara sauce where I've hidden broccoli, spinach, carrots, and sweet potatoes.  I recommend starting with a few tablespoons and working your way up to 1/4 of a cup of the concentrated fruits and vegetables.  I have seen other cook books advocating the same type of idea, but Missy's truly has the most kid friendly food and the recipes are easy and delicious!

One of my favorite recipes of Missy's is her Gluten free cookies!!!  (Anyone who knows me knows that chocolate chip cookies are my kryptonite!!)
1 cup GF Flour Blend
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons unsalted butter (*substitute a trans-fat-free non-dairy margarine if dairy allergy)
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
2 egg yolks
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup White Bean Puree (see Make-Ahead Recipe #9)
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (*use non-dairy chocolate chips if dairy allergy)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Remove butter from refrigerator to let soften.
In a large bowl, whisk together GF Flour Blend, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat butter and both sugars until creamy. Beat in egg yolks, vanilla, and White Bean Puree. Add dry ingredients and mix on low speed. Stir in chocolate chips.
Make small cookies by dropping heaping teaspoonfuls, spaced about an inch apart, onto nonstick or parchment- lined baking sheets. Spray tops of cookies lightly with oil and flatten with the back of a spatula.
Bake for 16 to 18 minutes or until golden brown. Let cool on a metal rack.
Store cookies in airtight container at room temperature.
Nutrition Facts:
Serving Size 1 (23g)
(Recipe makes 24 servings)
Calories: 100
Total Fat: 5.3g
Fiber: 0.6g
Total Carbohydrates: 12.3g
Sugars: 6.3g
Protein: 1.1g
Sodium: 78mg
Cholesterol: 25mg

Eating healthy can be delicious and kid friendly!